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Jan 9, 2023

Lakeland woman riding a stand-up scooter critically injured in hit-and-run crash, deputies make quick arrest of suspect

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

A 19-year old Lakeland woman riding a stand-up scooter was hit by a vehicle Saturday morning, January 7, 2023, and the vehicle left the scene.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County Fire Rescue were notified of the crash at about 6:27 am, and responded to the crash scene on Reynolds Road at Lisa Lane in Lakeland.

The victim was taken to a local hospital with serious head and leg injuries, and deputies immediately began working on identifying the driver who fled.

From the preliminary investigation, it was determined that the victim was travelling north on Reynolds Road near the center of the northbound lane when she was hit from behind. The victim landed on the hood of the vehicle then fell into the east shoulder of the road.

Several broken pieces from the suspect’s vehicle were left at the scene of the crash, and from that, detectives were able to determine the make/model, year range, and color of the suspect’s vehicle. A Crime Analyst was able to identify 64-year old William Anderson of Lakeland as a possible suspect.

When detectives went to his home, Anderson opened the door and said, “I was waiting for y’all to come looking for me.”

Anderson confessed to the hit-and-run. His red 2016 Nissan Versa was found behind his house; Anderson said he parked it there in an attempt to conceal it from law enforcement.

“The detectives and crime analyst on this case did extraordinary work in getting this suspect locked up so fast; he was in our jail within eight hours of him leaving his victim on the side of the road to die. The victim is in critical, but stable condition, and we pray for her quick and full recovery.”Grady Judd, Sheriff

William Anderson was arrested and taken to the Sheriff’s Processing Center and was charged with: Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Serious Injury (F2), Tampering with Evidence (F3), and Driving While License Suspended/Revoked with Serious Injury (F3).

The crash remains under investigation.